I've been waiting for the first issue of Mollie Makes with the same trepidation that I wait for all new sewing/textile/lifestyle magazines in the UK. I always hope that this one will be different and that we will finally have a beautiful, inspirational, interesting UK magazine to read (other than Selvedge, which although always beautiful, can be a little high brow sometimes, which is great but not always what I want).
But sadly, time and time again I have been hugely disappointed by what's out there.
The fairly new Making magazine has come the closest so far to filling the huge gap in the market for intelligent, beautiful textile magazines, but it's focus on general crafts rather than textiles means that it's not as appealing to me as I had hoped, but that's just a matter of different interests.
But when I heard about Mollie Makes and the team that are producing it, I had high hopes that this time it would all be different. That there would be bright, beautiful images, interesting articles, projects that I would actually like to make and information that was relevant to the type of interest I have in textiles.
And good lord! It's finally happened. Mollie Makes is absolutely beautiful from cover to cover. I can honestly say that there is not one page that disappoints. With it's simple yet stunning images, it's inspiring layout and all the little design details, it's just exactly what I hoped it would be.
This is no Sew Hip or Sewing World, so if you're looking for a plethora of basic, uninspiring sewing patterns then this is not the magazine for you. But if you're looking for a magazine much more along the lines of Anthology or the fun side of Selvedge, then this is the one.
Whilst it does include a few patterns to make (all of which are fun and really well presented) this is not a pattern led magazine, it's more of a lifestyle magazine. But a lifestyle that is based on the love of handmade and vintage without making the mistake of thinking that that means low quality 'homemade' (a real bug bear for most makers).
Mollie Makes finally manages to reproduce the sophistication of a lot of the US magazines, such as Martha Stewarts Living, or the now sadly deceased Adorn with strong aspirational imagery and content, whilst not succumbing to the slightly patronising, unrealistic feel of MSL.
It's not all original content, there's a book excerpt and some images that have previously been published on known blogs, but I don't see this as a problem at all and it certainly isn't a criticism. In fact, it's nice to see it all pulled together in one place, especially as there are so many books out there now and so many blogs that you often miss things.
I'm excited about this magazine and I'm truly hoping that the quality of the content will remain just as high as in Issue 1. There are an awful lot of clever, talented people out there and it's about time that publishers were brave enough not to cater to the lowest common denominator the way so many do.
The blog world has proven for a long time now that people want more than just a cheap, easy pattern. That they want modern, beautiful content that offers an escape from the humdrum without making them feeling excluded.
With a free pattern you would actually want, 6 patterns (plus templates), book reviews, great interviews, events diary and more, Mollie Makes is a damn good read and I highly recommend it.
And no I haven't been paid to say any of that ;)
At £4.99 it's not cheap, but it's worth the money. So go out and buy it and show the publishers that there really is a market for this type of magazine, and then we can all stop complaining about how little there is out there!
Mollie Makes is available at Sainsbury's and WhSmiths. And hopefully it will soon be available everywhere else too!